I was at Leo High School for a couple of hours yesterday. I left around 3PM. When exiting the Sangamon Street (west side of school) door, I heard at least six seperate CPD buzzers and sirens and saw CPD cars and SUVs shoot west on 79th Street.
This occurs, if not daily, all too frequently. The cars of the 6th District sweeping past Leo High School and shortly St. Sabina's Faith Community, operated by Rev. Michael Pfleger. I'm not a fan. Father Pfleger is a political minister who has harmed Leo on more than one occasion, in my opinion. He has his agenda. I have mine.
What brings this up, is a conversation I had shortly after leaving Leo with a guy who lives not too far from me. He happens to be a very devout liberal Catholic and Democrat. He wears his heart on his sleave and looks for his heart on mine, as well. I mentioned that I had just come from Leo and noted the parade of squads and TAC unit vehicles. He told me, " Oh there was a shooting at 79th & Wood Street."
I used to pass many hours on that corner in my teen and early college years.
My friend a Catholic who wants the Church to be Unitarian Universalist added, " Thank God for Father Pfleger, Huh?"
" How so?"
" He does so much good over there."
" How so?"
" He does"
" How? Killings go on. Hookers crowd ladies trying to get downtown to clean offices away from the bus stop at 83rd & Racine every morning. People in the two flats are looking for work Pfleger Industries is doing just fine, but everyone I talk to is bearing the cross. ."
" He raises awareness of gun violence!"
" I think everyone is pretty aware of guns in the hands of soulless thugs. Forty shootings since Friday, Brownie. This one took place on my old corner hang-out. "
" Oh, wow. Still demanding to live the white flight fanatsy of the Old Neighborhood?"
"How does that follow?"
" Well you hate Father Pfleger. I can see that. That is obvious."
" You have some powerful eyes, there Brownie. Didn't you live at 77th & Aberdeen? Father Pfleger could use some of your time, treasure and talents."
" @#$%, You! Man. You are @#$%^ing Bigot."
" I get that alot. Great seeing you, Brownie! See you in church. Keep Hype Alive, My Bro!"
Some opinions are not allowed. This, I know. And I really could care . . .less. The shooting had nothing to do with Pfleger, but Brownie needs to goad. Goads of this stripe generally go un answered. Perhaps, I should swallow my gum and move on? Nah.
Life is too short and bile builds up. Never allow a counter wind-up to go un-used.
The thing is Brownie will initiate similar chat in no time at all and similar scenario will unfold.
Actually, I will not see Brownie in church, because we attend different Catholic parishes.
A robust dialog grounded in the purest of spirits always makes me tingle up a storm.